Most people can easily distinguish between fruits, berries, and vegetables. However, the difference between different types of fruit is less clear – and you may be very surprised at how a banana is classified. In this article, you will get an answer to the question whether a banana is a fruit, berry, or vegetable.
What is the difference between fruit and berries?
The word "fruit" is used to describe the sweet, fleshy, seed-holding structures of a flowering plant. The fruit is the reproductive organ of such plants, and its main function is to spread the seeds to new areas where the plant can grow. Fruits can be divided into two main categories: fleshy or dry. Dry fruits are foods that we don't usually consider fruit, such as nuts, legumes, and coconuts. On the other hand, we are used to fleshy fruits – common fruits such as apples, cherries, and bananas. Fleshy fruits can be further subdivided into simple fruits, multiple fruits and stems. Berries are a subcategory of simple fleshy fruits. Therefore, all berries are fruits, but not all fruits are berries.
Conclusion: Fruits are the reproductive organs of a flowering plant. They can be divided into several subcategories, one of which is berries.
Botanically, bananas are berries
Surprisingly, from a Botanical point of view, bananas are considered berries. The category that the fruit falls under is determined by the part of the plant that develops into the fruit. For example, some fruits develop from flowers containing one ovary, while others develop from flowers containing several. Moreover, fruit seeds are surrounded by three main structures:
Exocarp: the Skin or outer part of the fruit.
Mesocarp: the Flesh or middle part of the fruit.
Endocarp: the Inner part that covers the seed or seeds.
The main characteristics of these structures also contribute to the classification of fruits.
For example, to be considered a berry, a fruit must develop from a single ovary and usually have a soft exocarp and a fleshy mesocarp. The endocarp must also be soft and may contain one or more seeds. Bananas meet all these requirements. They develop from a flower containing a single ovary, have a soft rind and a fleshy middle. In addition, bananas contain several seeds that many people do not notice because they are small.
Conclusion: Bananas develop from a flower with a single ovary, have a soft and sweet middle, and contain one or more seeds. Therefore, they correspond to the botanically berries.
Bananas are not considered berries.
Many are surprised to learn that bananas are classified as berries. Most people think of berries as small fruits that can be picked from plants such as strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries. However, botanically, these fruits are not considered berries. This is because they do not develop from flowers with a single ovary, but from flowers with multiple ovaries. That is why they are often found in clusters and are classified as stems. On the other hand, bananas and other fruits that fall under the berry classification rarely contain the word "berry" in their name and are usually not considered berries. The confusion began when people started calling certain fruits "berries" thousands of years before botanists came to accurately classify different types of fruit. Although this classification currently exists, most people are not aware of it. Adding to the confusion is the fact that botanists also sometimes disagree with the exact classification of certain fruits. This is why the word "fruit" is used to define most fruits, including bananas, instead of the name of the subcategory that they fall under.
Conclusion: Many fruits were classified as fruit thousands of years before botanists came up with an official classification. This is the main reason why bananas do not contain the word "berry" in their name and are not considered as such.
Other amazing fruits that are also berries
Bananas are not the only amazing fruit that falls into the berry subcategory. Here are other unexpected fruits and vegetables that are considered berries from a Botanical point of view: Tomatoes, Grape, Kiwi, Avocado, Peppers, Eggplants, Guava. Like bananas, all of the above fruits and vegetables develop from flowers containing a single ovary, have a fleshy middle, and contain one or more seeds. This makes them botanically berries, despite the fact that they are rarely considered such.
Conclusion: Tomatoes, grapes, kiwis, avocados, peppers, eggplants, and guava are some other fruits that are botanically considered berries. However, like bananas, they are rarely thought of as berries.
Berries are a subcategory of fruits of a flowering plant that have sweet, fleshy, seed structures.
Bananas develop from a flower with a single ovary and have a soft rind, fleshy middle and small seeds.
As such, they meet all the Botanical requirements of berries and can be considered as fruits and berries, but not vegetables.